The difference between Chinese Engineers and their foreign counterparts(2)

What kind of person would choose to work as an engineer


To work is to make a living and it is the same both at home and abroad. While working as engineers abroad is more than making a living.

Nowadays Europe and the United States, have reached the level of wealthy, according to Chinese standards. It is said that 70% of Europe and the United States population can be identified as middle class, the gap between rich and poor is much smaller than that of China. Developed countries have a sound social welfare and social security systems. Workers with the minimum wages can also afford a house and making a living. With a well-developed tax system, white-collar workers basically earn an extra 100, the tax would be about 50.


In such circumstances, people choose the jobs, not merely for the personal earnings. Incomes, of course matters, while in China it is the most important factor. This is especially true for engineers in research and development work. When people, whether engineers or non-engineers, talking about the feeling as engineers, being interesting, exploring the unknown, every day is fine, being innovative. As well as the joys for solving puzzles, getting sense of accomplishment, and being honored. Of course, there are other reasons such as stable and comfortable work, good salary and so on, but income is really not a major factor.

For foreign engineers. It is enough to live a decent life, not rich. They are more concerned about the fun of work.

In China, the average salary for engineers are much higher than for other jobs. With the rapid development of China Economy, more and more companies are investing more talents to develop new products and to improve their competitiveness, especially in electronics and e-commerce.


Employment and income of engineers



Most of the foreign engineers are working as employees just like their Chinese counterparts. Working 9 AM -5:00PM, and paid monthly. For engineers, most people would sign an indefinite contract. Some call it "life-long contract". Because of the labor law, it is not that easy to fire workers. Unless the employees want to leave or the company’s get a severe problem.


Of course, the income of an engineer is not very high, and they have to take the taxes into consideration. Developed countries like the U.S and the Europe, even the welding workers are able to afford cars and houses. For engineers, having a decent life is not hard. A humorous saying is a house, two cars, two children, a pet dog. It attracts numbers of peaceful minds to enjoy the work till the end of career lives.


If expecting a higher salary, then Europe and the United States engineers have another form of employment: self-employed. This form is seldom heard in China, while it is really common overseas. Many professionals, including lawyers, accountants, doctors, and part of the engineers are self-employed. Self-employed engineers will register a small company such as a consulting firm or a design firm, and can work at home, or three or five people forming a cooperative company to undertake the development projects and the payment is based on the working hours on the projects. Hourly wages are 2-3 times higher than employee engineers. And because the self-employed engineers registered their own companies, there are many benefits on the tax. As a result, the disposable income of a self-employed engineer is much higher than that of an employee engineer. Besides the risk of self-employment is self-evident. Those who are willing to be self-employed are basically middle-aged, white, working in the industry for many years, getting a widespread network of contacts, and gaining a good reputation.

While in China, people tend to work hard and expect a promotion in career. The payment is highly related with the rank in the company.

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